Welcome back to our Second Disc Holiday Gift Guide, in which we review some titles we might have missed over the past few weeks! The titles we’re spotlighting in this occasional series just might be candidates on your own holiday shopping list! Tony Bennett’s heart may be in San Francisco, but his soul can be found in a case measuring roughly 11 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches. For within those modest dimensions is housed some 65 years of music, spanning 1946 to 2011, over 73 CDs and 3 DVDs. And
UPDATE 12/15: Amazing Grace: Glen Campbell's "Jesus and Me" Anthology Reissued and Expanded, Joined by "Home for the Holidays"
In a career spanning nearly fifty years, there's little musical ground that Glen Campbell hasn't covered. He's explored bluegrass, country and pop, played on many of the most famous records of all time as a session guitarist and "Wrecking Crew" member, and even served a brief stint as a Beach Boy. A steady stream of reissues has reminded listeners of Campbell's mightiest accomplishments, and despite the admission of an Alzheimer's diagnosis, the singer recently recorded an acclaimed new album
Holiday Gift Guide Review: The Rolling Stones, "Some Girls: Deluxe Edition"
Welcome to our Second Disc Holiday Gift Guide, in which we review some titles we might have missed over the past few weeks! The titles we’re spotlighting in this occasional series just might be candidates on your own holiday shopping list! In a vintage clip that brings one of the biggest laughs in Martin Scorsese’s 2008 concert film Shine a Light, Mick Jagger tells an interviewer that he doesn’t anticipate getting old as a Rolling Stone…yet, nearly fifty years after the band first formed,
Come to the Sunshine: Now Sounds Expands, Remasters Harpers Bizarre's "Feelin' Groovy"
Leon Russell might have been reluctant to return to his pop music roots when producer Lenny Waronker invited him to sit in the arranger's chair for Harpers Bizarre's 1967 debut album. But in retrospect, a Master of Time and Space must have been involved in any LP that listed among its credits Randy Newman, Van Dyke Parks, Paul Simon, Richard Rodgers and Sergei Prokofiev! The California quintet's Feelin' Groovy long-player is still one of the boldest, most imaginative and most fun debut albums
UPDATE: Doris Day Opens The Vaults For “My Heart” and There's Plenty For Beach Boys Fans, Album Gets U.S. Release
The vault has finally been opened! Sony Music U.K. has confirmed a release date and track listing for singing legend Doris Day’s long-awaited My Heart, on which your humble correspondent first reported in August 2010 and revisited back in November! Thanks to the fine folks at Doris Day Tribute for spreading this news! My Heart marks Doris’ first album of original studio material in some seventeen years, since The Love Album, and it features a number of tracks that will be of interest to the
Review: The Cool Revolution Continues - Four From CTI and Kudu
When he established Kudu as an offshoot of his titanic jazz label CTI, Creed Taylor wore his ambitions on his sleeve. The label was named after the long-horned African mammal and its logo adorned with Afro-centric colors, as Taylor intended to do no less than make Kudu a home for releases "indigenous to the black popular music of the United States." Taylor always knew the importance of a visual, and much as CTi releases were recognizable for their striking, provocative cover photographs and
Review: Frank Sinatra, "Best of the Best"
There’s simply no getting around it: Frank Sinatra is the voice of the Great American Songbook. That’s not to discount the dozens of other significant voices that brought life to the House That George, Ira, Irving, Cole, Jerome, Richard and Lorenz Built. (Again, just to name a few.) But Frank Sinatra’s voice, as well as his persona, has become such a deeply ingrained part of the American musical fabric that it’s hard to find new ways to present it. The body of work created by Sinatra at
"Gremlins" Are Loose! FSM Bows Long-Awaited Complete Score
Here is one of the most exciting sentences we could ever type for soundtrack fans on The Second Disc: Jerry Goldsmith's score to Gremlins is coming to CD from Film Score Monthly. "Cute. Cuddly. Mischevious. Intelligent. Dangerous." Those five words roped audiences into one of the most exciting horror-comedies of the 1980s, Joe Dante's Gremlins. The tale of a storybook American small town rocked by wacky creatures with razor-sharp claws on Christmas Eve was a perfect marriage of humor and
Review: The Beach Boys, "The Smile Sessions" Part Three: It's In Great Shape
Welcome to the third and final part of our review series celebrating the release of The Beach Boys’ The SMiLE Sessions. In Part 1, we revisited the history of the album, and in Part 2, we examined the music and lyrics of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks that created the legend. In today’s concluding chapter, we explore "the sessions" of The SMiLE Sessions and compare the various releases! What’s the biggest surprise of The SMiLE Sessions? It’s the sound of five young men optimistically
Review: The Beach Boys, "The Smile Sessions" Part Two: Surf's Up, At Last
Today sees the first release, after 47 years, of The Beach Boys’ SMiLE. The Second Disc celebrates this event with a three-part review series dedicated to what was once the greatest lost album of all time. In Part 1, we looked back at the story of SMiLE. In today’s Part 2, we explore the most legendary aspect of the album: the music itself, created by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, as recorded by The Beach Boys. The SMiLE Shop is finally open for business! It’s only taken some 44
Review: The Beach Boys, "The Smile Sessions" Part One: What's Past is Prologue
Tomorrow, November 1, marks the release of The Beach Boys’ SMiLE, the most legendary lost album of all time. In recognition of this landmark, The Second Disc is launching a three-part series looking at the SMiLE mythos, including a review of the various editions of The SMiLE Sessions. Before we begin to explore these collections, however, we’d like to offer a bit of perspective and back story on SMiLE: what was, what is, and what might have been. Welcome to Part One: What’s Past is
Gilbert O'Sullivan "Himself" Coming Soon, Naturally
In a little while from now, if I'm not feeling any less sour, I promise myself to treat myself...and listen to a Gilbert O'Sullivan record. The quirky Irish singer/songwriter topped the charts in 1972 with "Alone Again, Naturally," proclaimed by American Top 40 as the fifth most popular song of the entire decade. But it's also one of the most unusual. As the song begins, the narrator is left at the altar and is contemplating "climbing to the top" of a "nearby tower" to throw himself off. He
Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury, Mary Martin Feature in Latest Masterworks Line-Up
Some of The Great White Way's brightest stars will be on the receiving end of the latest reissue bonanza from Sony's Masterworks Broadway label. Leading the pack is the 1985 Original Cast Recording of Stephen Sondheim's Follies in Concert. Lee Remick, Barbara Cook, Mandy Patinkin and George Hearn star in the 1985 recording of Sondheim's 1971 musical currently enjoying a critically-acclaimed, hit revival on Broadway. Follies in Concert will arrive at general retail on CD in a new eco-friendly
Short Takes: Beatles May Finally "Let It Be" on DVD, Big Country Goes Back to "The Crossing"
Could a release of Let It Be, The Beatles' harrowing 1970 documentary/epitaph, finally be happening? Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg says so. In an interview with WNYC-FM, Lindsay-Hogg discussed the film, saying, "we have been been working on it pretty much every year for the last couple of years. And the plan is, at the moment, to have it come out, I think, in 2013." A premiere release of the DVD, featuring outtakes and additional footage highlighting the making of the film, would follow a
Harry Belafonte Still Singing His "Song" On New Masterworks Release
Harry Belafonte has worn many hats in his 84 years: recording artist, film star, civil rights crusader, tireless humanitarian. Though he gracefully and modestly bowed out of performing some years back with little fanfare, Belafonte has returned to the spotlight this month to narrate a documentary on his life and author an autobiography. Though the book is entitled My Song, the film and its musical companion both bear the name Sing Your Song. Sony Masterworks' collection is a sixteen-track
Stay Awhile: Dusty Springfield Box Set Packed With Rarities, Due This Month In Two Editions
UPDATE 10/6: We're just a few short weeks away from the release of Goin' Back: The Definitive Dusty Springfield, a super deluxe box set by any standards. With its four CDs, three DVDs and two hardback books, Goin' Back may be the ultimate holiday gift for the Dusty diehard. Of its 92 audio tracks, 22 are previously unreleased, 10 are making their U.K. debut and five are appearing for the very first time on CD. Of its 98 video performances, a full 32 are premiering on DVD. But if Goin' Back
Review: Pink Floyd, "The Dark Side of the Moon: Immersion Box Set"
At what point in a super deluxe - or Immersion - box set does the music itself become, if not irrelevant, an afterthought? It's hard not to wonder, sifting through the treasure chest - or toy chest, perhaps - that's the Immersion Box Set of Pink Floyd's landmark 1973 rock opus The Dark Side of the Moon (EMI 50999 029431 2, 2011). It's not hard to imagine many Floyd devotees finding themselves over the rainbow with this package, and of course that famous rainbow is everywhere in this box
Review: Elvis Presley, "Young Man with the Big Beat: The Complete '56 Elvis Presley Masters"
Well, it's one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go! With such words was a revolution born! Those simple lyrics were the first sung by Elvis Presley on his 1956 RCA Victor debut, accompanied by the blasts of Scotty Moore's guitar, then the frantic beats of D.J. Fontana's drums. It's unlikely that Presley ever anticipated that his recording of Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" would provide the soundtrack to a country's coming of age, or for that matter, lead
Review: Miles Davis Quintet, "The Bootleg Series Vol. 1: Live in Europe 1967"
Reflecting on Miles Davis’ so-called Second Great Quintet to director Mark Obenhaus, Herbie Hancock recalled that “when people were hearing us, they were hearing the avant-garde on one hand, and they were hearing the history of jazz that led up to it on the other hand - because Miles was that history. He was that link. We were sort of walking a tightrope with the kind of experimenting we were doing in music, not total experimentation, but we used to call it ‘controlled freedom.’” What exactly
The Second Disc Interview: Talking with Ben Folds
Leave it to Todd Rundgren to spot The Difference. Hosting a 1995 episode of the late Philadelphia-based radio program of that name, Rundgren interviewed Ben Folds, “fronting his trio, The Ben Folds Five. Go figure,” the pop icon dryly noted. Reflecting on the experience sixteen years later, Folds recalled with typical candor the moment when Rundgren spotted the difference in the young musician. It was “fucking surreal…He said ‘you have a distinct voice.’ And I thought, ‘really? I think I
Review: Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, "The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings"
When Frank Sinatra met Count Basie, it was far from a clash of the titans. No, the "historic musical first" that occurred between the grooves of Reprise 1008 in 1962 was more like a perfect union. Both were Jersey boys, with Basie's formative years spent south of Hoboken, in Red Bank, New Jersey. The men were unusually simpatico, similar in their enormous respect for musicians. Though Basie titled a 1959 album Chairman of the Board, the title was later bestowed upon Sinatra. When Basie put
Ode To A Kudu: CTI Masterworks Series Continues In October With Kudu Titles
Tuesday, August 9 brought the most recent quartet of CTI jazz titles to CD from Sony's Masterworks Jazz division. For the next batch, due October 4, the label has turned its attention to CTI's offshoot label, Kudu. Named after the long-horned African mammal, Kudu was launched by CTI's Creed Taylor in 1971. Taylor described his new endeavor as "a black awareness label, more commercial oriented than CTI and indigenous to the black popular music of the United States." Even the logo's familiar
Review: John Barry, "The Black Hole: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack"
When John Barry won two 1967 Academy Awards for his work on Born Free, the trophies were a vindication. Over the initial objections of his director, Barry envisioned his score to reflect a "Disneyesque kind of movie, lovely family entertainment" and fought for the dramatic integrity of that sound. Twelve years later, Barry actually got his chance to score a Walt Disney Productions motion picture. One of many science-fiction epics produced in the wake of Star Wars, Disney's The Black Hole was
Listen To The Music: Doobie Brothers Catalogue Expanded In The U.K.
Are you ready to listen to the music? If you are, you're in for quite a treat. The U.K.'s Edsel label has just launched a series of expanded Doobie Brothers remasters, encompassing the band's first eight studio albums (1971-1978) as four 2-CD packages. Doobie Brothers/Toulouse Street and The Captain and Me/What Once Were Vices were just released this past Monday, while Stampede/Takin' It to the Streets and Livin' On The Fault Line/Minute by Minute follow on September 26. These eight albums
BREAKING NEWS! Good, Good, Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys' "SMiLE" Arrives November 1
Surf's up. At long last, we can finally announce that SMiLE is coming to a shop near you. On November 1, Capitol Records will release The Beach Boys' 1967 lost masterwork as The SMiLE Sessions in three editions: a 5-CD/2-LP/2 7-inch single box (yes, 9 discs!), a slimmer 2-CD version and a 2-LP set. Where to start? First, I recommend digging that artwork at your left. Has it settled in that this set is becoming a reality? Good. Read on, friends. The saga of SMiLE, 2011, was becoming